After years of coaching many wonderful event planners, I see the same struggles over and over again. You CAN succeed in this industry and there are an incredible number of wedding and event planners who are running successful, profitable, sustainable businesses.
Top five reasons why wedding and event planners aren’t succeeding AND what to do about it:
1) No training
Planning weddings isn’t rocket science, however, there are many things to learn on both the planning side and the business side. Here are a few ways to learn the skills you need to succeed:
- Attend an events industry conference
- Get a coach or mentor
- Take classes or read books to understand business basics including marketing.
- Start with a small service offering such as only offering wedding day management (instead of partial or full-service event planning). Only offer this service for the first 6-12 months until you learn more and feel comfortable with the business AND planning workflow.
- Work for a catering company to get general event experience.
- Get educated on accounting and legal issues or hire someone to help you with accounting, cash flow, pricing your wedding services, and contract basics.
2) No game plan
Even if your general business plan is on the back of a napkin, that is much better than no plan at all. Are you just doing event planning as a hobby? Or are you trying to grow your business to a full-time income? Either way, write down your vision, how much you want to make, what kind of events you like to do, how much can you afford to spend on marketing, who your competition is, etc.
You can find a simple business plan in our in-depth guide: 25 Steps to Start Your Wedding Planning Business.
3) Potential clients aren’t finding you
You could spend thousands of dollars on a fabulous new website but if the website doesn’t show up naturally in search results, show up via paid advertising, or get found from referrals, your business is never going to get off the ground.
Engaged couples have no way of finding out about what you offer unless they have a way to find your website or hear about your event planning business.
4) Your website is less than stellar
You could spend a ton of cash on advertising but if your website isn’t professional or is missing key elements, your advertising will be worthless. Spend money on the best website you can afford before spending money on driving traffic and potential clients to it.
With education and experience comes confidence. In the beginning, do everything you can to learn. Investing in yourself is the best investment you will make. If you don’t invest in yourself, why should a potential client invest in you?
If you struggle with self-confidence in your life, here are three resources to help you:
- 20 Self Confidence Traps Holding You Back from Marc and Angel
- How to Gain Confidence When You Feel Insecure from Live Bold and Bloom
- A Thoughtful Guide to Gaining Self-Confidence from Becoming Minimalist
If you could use a confidence boost, take a look at those resources and consider hiring a life coach or therapist who can help you specifically with confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes we need to work on ourselves before we can have success in our career.
These are the 5 biggest reasons that wedding and event planners struggle to gain traction and make money in their business. Other things that could be preventing an event planner from having a successful business include poor financial planning and management, disorganization, and not having a passion for planning.
The good news is that ALL of these things can easily be overcome so that you can turn your dream career into a hugely successful adventure!